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Buying solar is a major investment in your energy future. When you’re searching for the right solar company, not all companies are the same. 

The best solar PV system for you will depend on a range of factors, including how you use electricity and whether you’re looking for a high-quality solar system or the best value for money. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you recognise what could be a red flag when you’re shopping for solar.


Beware of big promises

Believe it or not, a solar power system is not right for every home. For example, if the only available roof space on your home faces south, it won’t catch any direct sunlight. This means even if you invested in high quality solar panels, they won’t be as effective in generating power for your home compared to north facing panels. The same issue would apply if your roof (facing in any direction) is constantly shaded by trees or neighbouring buildings. Solar panels need to receive direct sunlight to generate power.

Beware of any solar company which makes big promises sight-unseen about the results you’ll get when you install solar. Reputable solar installers will check the available space of your roof and how you use electricity before making any recommendations.


Don’t trust too-good-to-be-true sales tactics

There are several sales tactics which may be used and are worth looking out for in the solar industry, for example:

  • High pressure or ‘today only’ deals
  • Claims of 'free' solar panels
  • ‘Interest free’ finance
  • Promoting ‘no more electricity bills’

All of which might sound great – but always look into these deals or offers closely. 

Any deal where you’re being pressured to sign up quickly to take advantage of a discount is likely to be designed to apply pressure and rush you into making a decision. If you don’t have time to do your homework on the solar company and the system they are offering, you could be making a costly mistake.

Free panels might sound tempting – but sometimes you may find that the product warranty doesn’t extend to the free panels. Or, when it comes to solar panel installation day, your “free” panels don’t fit on your roof and the original price you were quoted could still apply.  

In terms of ‘interest free’ finance, always look closely at the terms and conditions and disclosure documents provided. Instead of interest charges, you might instead have to pay monthly fees, account fees or late fees as you pay your solar system off over time.

Finally, while solar panels could help you to save on your electricity costs, if you shift your habits and learn to make the most of your solar system, your panels can only produce power on days when the sun is shining. When the sun goes down or you need more energy than your solar system is producing at any given time, then unless you have a battery system, you’ll need to draw electricity from the grid, and the usual tariffs and other elements of your bill will apply. 


Watch out for price matching and undercutting

Price matching can be a great way to save when you’re shopping for a specific make and model of a new household appliance. However price matching may not be a great idea when you’re buying solar – so watch out for ‘We’ll beat any quote’ and similar claims.

The quality and performance of different solar system products (including panels and inverters) that are offered can vary a lot from one solar company to the next. Make sure you are comparing like for like and always consider the reputation of each solar company. 

Look for high quality solar panels with an output of at least 300W – and solid product and performance warranties in case you need to make a warranty claim in the future.


Avoid a solar company with a questionable reputation

When buying solar, look for a solar company with consistently high reviews and positive comments from real customers across different online platforms. If their reviews range from terrible to glowing or the reviews vary significantly depending on which platform they appear on, this could be a red flag as they may not be genuine.

Consider it a red flag if a solar company has deactivated reviews on any social media platforms. There may be a reason they don’t want to allow customer reviews on their profiles.

Hundreds of solar companies have closed down in the past decade, so choosing a solar company certified by the Clean Energy Council (also known as CEC accreditation) can be worth the effort. 


Take your time and make an informed choice

Solar can be an overwhelming and often expensive investment – so it's important to pay attention to any red flags when you’re buying solar. Always take your time to research your options and find a company you can trust with your solar investment.

Now that you know what to avoid when shopping for solar, learn the 5 things to do after your solar panel installation.